A top-class field of British pro riders has been confirmed for the second instalment of the Women’s CiCLE Classic early next month.
A field of just 62 riders took the start at last year’s inaugural race, of which only 13 survived the tough 95km route, starting and finishing in Melton town centre.
But the popularity of that first event, a £1,000 top prize, and its unique nature has attracted a much bigger field of 120 for this year’s race on Sunday, June 4 (2pm start).
The upcoming edition will also form part of British Cycling’s Women’s National road race series with 2016 winner Rebecca Durell (Drops Cycling) returning to defend her crown.
Sponsorship for the event has been provided by Peter Stanton, a fervent supporter of the development of women’s racing.
CiCLE Classics race director Colin Clews said: ”From its introduction last year, we have aimed to make the Women’s CiCLE Classic a replica in quality and presentation of its international big brother.
“We wanted to provide British women racers with an event that tests them to the extreme, and replicates the cut and thrust of Continental racing.” It will follow most of the hardest parts of the international route and will take in five passages of Owston village – the heart of the Classic – as well as two passages of the infamous Somerberg off-road section.
The course will also feature an ascent of Cold Overton Hill, counting towards the Queen of the Hills competition which also takes in Burrough Hill and Cuckoo Hill.
Like the international race, the women will pass through the finish line in Sherrard Street before tackling a 15km finishing circuit of Burton Road, Sawgate Lane, Stapleford Lane and Saxby Road before the sprint for the line at around 5pm.
This year the day will also feature the Junior CiCLE Classic with the best young road racing cyclists in Britain.
The 120-strong field includes current European and World junior champion Tom Pidcock, who won the junior edition of the famous Paris-Roubaix race earlier this year, the event upon which the CiCLE Classic has been styled.
The junior race departs Melton town centre at 9.30am and will cover the same course as the women.